Sophomore Trio Defends 3-on-3 Title


The sophomore trio of Kobayashi, Paguio and Tarpav returned and successfully defended their title. (Jennifer Khedaroo/The Observer)


Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament kicked off on Sept. 15 at the McMahon Hall basketball court. Four teams competed intensely but in the end, it was the trio of Yuta Kobayashi, FCLC ’15, Tristan Paguio, FCLC ’15, and Josh Tarpav, FCLC ’15, who earned the title of Lincoln Center’s best team for the second year in a row after winning the final game with a score of 15-10.

The sophomore trio of Kobayashi, Paguio and Tarpav returned and successfully defended their title. (Jennifer Khedaroo/The Observer)

The three sophomores met in their freshman year. Tarpav and Kobayashi were suitemates and held similar interests in basketball. During their freshman year, they noticed a post made by Paguio on a Fordham Facebook page looking for someone to play basketball with. The three boys all had previous experience playing on their high school basketball teams and decided to become a team for last April’s 3-on-3 tournament. There they won the seven team competition.

This year the teams played a round-robin styled tournament. This meant that each team played every other team once and the two teams with the best record faced off in the final round. Playing a round-robin tournament has its advantages. For instance, if the teams played with elimination rounds, then the final round would come instantly after the first. Each team would be left with only one opportunity to prove themselves. “Two games and everyone would be gone, and that’s not good,” Tarpav said. Paguio added, “For the amount of teams we had, round-robin was the best option.”

The event’s organizer, Sunny Khahera, FCLC ’14 and resident assistant, spoke of the challenge of getting the teams together for the tournament. “The tournament means a lot to me, especially since I’ve played in the tournament for years now. I put up signup sheets to know who is coming ahead of time, but not a lot of people signed up, which is scary because you don’t know who is going to show up. I personally called and texted some people from last year’s tournament and created a Facebook group to get people’s attention.”

Khahera also noted that most of the competitors were residents because it is difficult to get commuters to travel from the outer boroughs, and seniors were most likely to attend the homecoming event than come to the tournament.

The round-robin tournament also had its disadvantages. While observing the three rounds of competition, it was noticeable that the players were getting more and more tired with every game played. By the last stage, Paguio and Kobayashi had both taken a beating, with Paguio hurting his arm, chin, groin and leg. Still, the trio pulled through to a win of 15-10 after being down 5-0 early.

The dynamic between the three helped them to succeed. “We’re like soul sisters,” the Tarpav joked. “But really, I’m the high energy one, Yuta’s the relaxed, chill one, and Tristan’s the one who says ‘guys, let’s go play basketball’ all the time,” Tarpav said. Their chemistry was shown in each round, especially when calling out for one another to “calm down!” when getting tangled up by defenders.  The teammates knew how to play with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to go on a 15-5 run against the opposition.

Another story coming from the tournament was that of Katherine Destefano. Destefano, a third year law student and resident assistant, was the only girl who participated in this year’s tournament, a step up from last April when no girls participated at all. When asked about being the only girl, Destefano responded “I’ve played basketball my entire life. I’m used to being the only girl who plays basketball with the boys, but I do wish that more girls would play.” Unfortunately, the chances of more girls playing in the 3 on 3 tournament is unlikely due to the courts closing down soon in order for the school to pay for the new law school and dorm building. Kobayashi, Tarpav and Paguio are very upset with the Lincoln Center courts closing down. “We’ll still play together,” Kobayashi said.

For the moment, however, the boys are satisfied with their prizes of a $15 gift card each for Best Buy, an improvement from last April’s prize of a $5 gift card each for Starbucks. How did they celebrate their win? Tarpav and Paguio planned on going to a Kendrick Lamar concert while Kobayashi felt sleeping was absolutely necessary.